BEVERLY, Mass. (taken from an Endicott College press release)– Facing each other for the first time since the 2012 ECAC DIII New England Championship, the Endicott (7-13) and Brandeis (17-10) softball teams split a pair of non-conference games on Thursday afternoon as the Gulls took game one 8-1 before the Judges answered in game two, 4-2 (6 inn.).
The Gulls and Judges met five times in 2012, twice during the regular season and three times in the ECAC Tournament. Brandeis won both regular season games in early April, but Endicott took two out of three tournament match-ups, including the deciding title game 7-6 to win their first ever ECAC trophy.
Game One: Endicott 8, Brandeis 1
Endicott freshman outfielder Jamie Corda (Higganum, Conn.) cleared the wall in left field with two runners on base in the bottom of the second to give the Gulls a 3-0 lead and junior pitcher Nell O'Connor (Harwich, Mass.) made it stand up with a one-run, six-strikeout complete game to improve to 4-2 on the season.
Brandeis put up a run in the top of the third, taking advantage of an Endicott error as junior RF Leah McWilliams (Billerica, Mass./Billerica Memorial) crossed home plate to cut the lead to 3-1. The Gulls tacked on two runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to take a commanding 8-1 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, Endicott loaded the bases with one out which led to a sacrifice fly for senior Jocelyn Russo (Middletown, Conn.) to make it t 4-1 Gulls. With runners on first and third, sophomore Jess Linden(Stratford, Conn.) broke from first base and got herself in a rundown which allowed Corda to scamper home from third.
Gulls senior first baseman Colleen Martin (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) doubled to left field in the bottom of the fifth to score Alexis Page (Agawam, Mass.), who had reached on a single to center to lead off the inning. Later in the frame, junior shortstop Kelley Michael (Ipswich, Mass.) hit a long single to the wall in right center, bringing home Byrne Katz (Trumbull, Conn.) and Martin.
O'Connor went the distance for Endicott, pitching seven strong innings of one-run ball allowing five hits while punching out six.
For the Judges, sophomore CF Amanda Genovese (North Haven, Conn./Genovese) went 2-for-4 at the dish and McWilliams scored Brandeis' lone run while walking twice.
Game Two: Endicott 2, Brandeis 4 (6 inn., called due to darkness)
Genovese followed up her game-one effort with a 3-for-4 performance with two runs, a RBI, and three stolen bases in game two to lead Brandeis to victory. Genovese finished the day with a 5-for-8 performance to improve her batting average to .475 (47-99) on the season, while her three steals give her 37 for the campaign.
In the top of the first, Genovese reached on an error and stole second to get into scoring position. A single by rookie LF Danielle Novotny (Milford, N.J./Delaware Valley) moved Genovese along to third where she eventually would score on a first and third situation with Novotny ending up safe back at first base.
One inning later, Genovese roped a single down the right field line to score rookie DP Madison Sullivan (Dover, N.H./Dover) to put the Judges up 2-0. Later in the top of the fourth, Brandeis added to their lead as senior RF Casey Ducinski (Duxbury, Mass./Duxbury) cracked a solo shot over the centerfield wall to lead off the inning - her second of the season - and with two outs, junior pitcher Melissa Nolan (Windsor, Conn./Loomis Chafee) helped her own cause, finding a gap in left-center to plate Genovese.
Endicott finally got on the board in the bottom of the fifth by scoring two runs with two outs against them trailing 4-0 in the game. A bases loaded passed ball allowed freshman Emily Hoffman (Malden, Mass.) to score and a Fales RBI single brought home sophomore Amanda Campbell (Billerica, Mass.).
Nolan (6-2) earned the win for Brandeis by going six innings, allowing two unearned runs on six hits and a walk, while striking out six batters. Gulls sophomore Cameron Sprague (Clifton Park, N.Y.) also struck out six but dropped to 1-5 on the year.
Endicott travels to CCC opponent Wentworth on Saturday, April 13th for a doubleheader starting at 12:00 pm in Boston. Brandeis plays WPI, at Clark University, on Saturday for two games also starting at noon.